As we get into the throes of festive planning, making endless lists of things to do and filling our diaries with all sorts of fun December engagements, it’s a good time to discover new brands that might just have the perfect gift for a loved one and make Christmas present shopping that little bit simpler. Patcharavipa Bodiratnangkura is the Bangkok-based, London-educated fine jewellery designer behind the Patcharavipa brand, and a name you’ll want to bear in mind when it comes to seasonal gift-giving for the stylish lady in your life.
We caught up with the Central Saint Martins graduate while she was in Hong Kong – Patcharavipa is currently a part of the Joyce Cabinet series, an exhibition which showcases the works of artisans who balance traditional craft techniques with contemporary design elements – to learn more about her beautiful jewellery pieces and find out how her Thai heritage influences her work.
Tell us about the concept of wabi-sabi (a traditional Japanese acceptance of the imperfect), and why it’s important to you.
The notion of Wabi- Sabi really resonates with the process of my work. I respect materials, and gently drawing out natural beauty in its original form is what really inspires me. I don’t believe in reaching perfection as beauty is subjective. What is perfection anyhow? I think there’s always a huge amount of beauty in imperfections; it’s what creates a distinctive mark.
You’ve said before that your designs capture ‘the essence of Thai nobility and the spirit of a simpler time’. Do you think life now has become too frantic?
When I was researching for the Coexistence collection I felt very much at peace exploring my grandparent’s journey. It seemed simpler back then, in old Siam everyone had more time… more appreciation for things… more happiness. It was very nostalgic to do the research. I have captured this feeling by naming our gold ‘Siam Gold’ to remind me of this particular snapshot of time that inspired me to start Patcharavipa. For our generation we have no patience, we can get everything at a touch of a button. What I’d really like to cultivate is a world in which we possess less that means more.
How do you consider Thai craftsmanship and its influence on your work?
I tend to use old techniques in my pieces. I rediscover certain mechanisms and work closely with my goldsmiths to see ways how it can be interestingly fused into contemporary designs. We do not use any 3D printing in our work and everything is purely handcrafted. I like to think that by doing what I’m doing, it is helping little by little to preserve the art of jewellery making in Thailand. The art of using our very bare hands.
What is your definition of fine jewellery?
Fine jewellery to me is not only about the use of fine materials. It is about how much time and attention is put into the creation, and what feelings are evoked when the wearer wears it.
Jewellery. Stacked or single?
Plain or jewelled?
Bangkok or London?
Both are very much home to me
A book or an iPad?
Heritage or innovation?
A balance between both!